Meaning of diffraction

dif•frac•tion

Pronunciation: (di-frak'shun), [key]
— n. Physics.
  1. the phenomenon exhibited by wave fronts that, passing the edge of an opaque body, are modulated, thereby causing a redistribution of energy within the front: it is detectable in light waves by the presence of a pattern of closely spaced dark and light bandsat the edge of a shadow.
  2. the bending of waves, esp. sound and light waves, around obstacles in their path.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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